Defragmentalising. Defragmentifying? Defragging? Defragmenting. The Mary Poppins Agenda.
I thought about this as I walked Sebastian to nursery this morning. Every mum who has ever watched Mary Poppins is ruined to find an exact replica. Everyone wants a Mary Poppins; someone to rear your child disciplined, yet full of song. Creative, but with a fastidious ability to tidy up.
But I was thinking about this long and hard. Is Mary Poppins really that amazing?
We all want one, but we can't afford one [in the UK.] Is she just marketed really, really well?
Here are the reasons I think she is not all that a bag of chips.*
1) Just like Mrs Doubtfire, she's actually another person. And Julie Andrews doesn't mind her own kids, so essentially Mary Poppins doesn't exist at all.
2) Sugar. Blatantly not on. It's highly frowned upon to give children under the age of 1 added sugar, at least in this country. So if you're going to give the medicine a chaser, does it have to be a spoonful of sugar, Mary? You're pumping the kids full of processed glucose granules, come on. How about a piece of fruit, Ms Poppins, fruit, smothered in omega 3 oils?
See? Sugared to the gills. In their two pieces from Bonpoint.
5) Cherry Tree Lane. This road does not exist in London. However, it looks like the family lives somewhere off Holland Park, looking at the rest of the movie set. George Clooney and John Cleese live in Holland Park, as well as the country's top lawyers and investment bankers, so I'm guessing you come at quite a price Mary Poppins. I'm thinking at least £3 000/month after tax. So most normal families wouldn't be able to afford you at all.
6) The 'Feed The Birds' scene at St Paul's Cathedral. This is actually illegal, you know. Since the sixties it's illegal to feed the pigeons/sky rats due to the excessive defecation from this expanding avian population. Next you're going to start parking in loading zones or 'forget' to update your parking disc.
7) Apparently Mary Poppins and Mrs Banks never speak to each other in the film. The entire film. This might be the most problematic out of all the scenarios. Power suits, sugar, illegal bird-feeding and overpriced West London nannies aside, it's simply not feasible to not talk to the mother when you're employed as the house's primary child keeper.
Maybe you were busy folding the laundry or singing lullabies, but I'm sorry, never a word exchanged? At all? That's impossible. How did you arrange their schedules or find out when to do the school run? Or talk about Michael and Jane's chicken pox infestation, or how Michael left his socks at rugby practice, or how Jane has a lactose intolerance, or what time she is getting back from work to attend the parents AGM?
Literally, not even possible. And frankly, what appalling levels of communication.
8) Your best mate is a chimney sweep. Let's talk about Dick van Dyke for a minute. I'm sure he's a lovely chap, and his delightful Cockney accent tickles the children pink, but it's a little bit odd isn't it? Especially in this day and age? The man needs to take a shower, for one, and for two, he just brings half of the East End's chimney sweepers around whenever he bloody feels like it so that they can dance on the roof of the house. I am not sure I approve. I have to assume you're also in some kind of sexual dalliance with the chap, which is your choice of course, but not on my watch.
*Mostly because I can't afford her.